When students at my school did an ecology experiment (a mini bio-dome) there were many fish "left over". I didn't like the situation so I stepped up and quickly set up a 10 gal
and a 5 gal
tank using spring water, and Flourite substrate.
The 10 gal
has become a nice, peaceful little community with 7 guppies, 2 tetra, 2 goldfish, and a betta (female), also there are about 7 snails.
The 5 gal
has 4 goldfish and a betta (female), and about 5 snails. This was to be the betta tank but the females didn't get along. I may add a divider later and make it a betta tank anyway.
In both tanks, I was careful to leave swimming channels and sheltered channels for active swimmers, but I also planted a lot
of aquatic plants. There are lots of places for everyone to hide, eat, and in the betta's case, lurk. There are some plants that run up to the surface and then lay along it. There are lots of plants.
I put in two compact flourescents in the 10 gal
, and one in the 5 gal
, which I got from the LFS
It has been going for about three weeks and I have no nitrates, and no ammonia. I have been adding bio-filter additives on the intake side of the filter element. I have not
tested pH, or nitrites, or CO2
The snails have been eating some plants. In the 5 gal
tank, one of the frilly long plants got deforested--I don't know how I didn't see it happening. I have been adding some Hydrodictyon algae ("water net") because it is very cool looking, but the snails ate all of that.
1. Do I need fewer snails? What do
2. Should I assume that the plants are taking care of the nitrogen balance and the "bio-filter" is coming along slowly?
3. Will the plants serve as a "buffer" for nitrogen chemistry?
4. How do I know if I need to add CO2
? Is there a simple way to judge that without getting complicated?
5. Should I add some tabs or partial tabs to the Flourite around the plantings?
6. Is it OK to add Hydrodictyon? It grows quickly when not grazed, but is easy to remove if necessary. My research says it is harmless, non-toxic, etc.
7. Should I be asking any other questions?
Thanks for the responses!